How To Get Ahead: Working Abroad ... Cambodia - If you can hire an elephant or pop out to buy an AK47, you must be in Cambodia

Melanie Leathers, client development group head at the National Magazine Company, had an unlikely sales job in Cambodia.

Melanie Leathers, client development group head at the National

Magazine Company, had an unlikely sales job in Cambodia.

’I worked as a sales and marketing consultant for a water purification

company that supplied water to the United Nations bases. They wanted me

to open an office to market the service to international companies and


’My first task was to organise a launch party that was going to be

attended by a royal prince. I had to ensure that sufficient dignitaries

would be present, otherwise I would be risking a royal insult.

’I had to create my own advertising, which involved daubing some slogans

on fabric and stringing them up across the roads. Through an interpreter

I also negotiated to hire three elephants, which I draped with banners

and used to provide transport from the UN buildings to our party. Since

there was no postal system, I hired the local newspaper sellers to do

leaflet drops.

’Amputees were a constant reminder of the war and you could buy a

grenade in the market for dollars 1 or an AK47 for dollars 50. I

personally knew three English people who were abducted and killed by


’But the Cambodian people were beautiful and the expatriate social life

was fantastic. There were lots of boozy parties. Cambodia was holding

its first democratic elections and there was a real sense of history

being made.’


Become a member of Campaign from just £46 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to ,plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Become a member

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now

Partner content


1 Stop and stare at what these nine brands did for the eclipse

You don't have to shield your eyes from social media during an eclipse - brands from DoubleTree by Hilton to Pizza Hut have found creative ways to capitalise on the total solar eclipse.


1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).